Small Independent tour operators gain higher customer satisfaction ratings than the big two travel giants TUI Travel and Thomas Cook, a Holiday which survey claims.
Nine independent operators achieved customer satisfaction scores of 83% or higher, the Holiday Which? member survey found.
However Airtours, Crystal Holidays, First Choice and Thomas Cook – all owned by the ‘big two’ companies – languished at the bottom, faring below average for organisation and overall satisfaction. Only Cosmos received a lower customer satisfaction score.
Portland Direct was the exception to the poor showing of the big groups – six in ten customers would definitely recommend the company to a friend. But it also had the joint lowest ‘value for money’ score and one of the lowest proportions of customers who were very satisfied with their tour rep.
The survey showed that Spain is still the country most travelled to, Inghams and expedia were best for short-haul destinations although rather pricey.
For long-haul trips Kuoni, Saga and Trailfinders came top.
Holiday Which? editor Lorna Cowan said: “With the rise in the number of do-it-yourself holidays, none of the tour operators are in a position to rest on their laurels.
“However, it’s great to see the independent tour operators performing so well in the face of big competition.
“Thomas Cook and TUI Travel could learn a lot from Travel about how to keep their customers happy.”